Sony Even the biggest stars in country music are feeling the impact of the passing of eighties pop icon George Michael, reacting to his death over the weekend on social media. The former Wham! front man died unexpectedly at his home in England over the Christmas holiday at the age of 53.

Carrie Underwood felt an early connection to the “Careless Whisper” singer.

“I never told him (mainly because I thought I’d freak him out) but George Michael has always been such an influence on me,” she said on Instagram. “As a child, his was the first voice I could pick out of the sea of voices I heard on the radio. Before I knew anything about him, I knew his voice. As an adult, I cried when I saw him in concert.”

“His songs and his voice helped to teach me how to sing,” Carrie went on. “I will forever regret not letting him know… Thank you, George, for giving the world your gifts… May you rest in peace.”

Tim McGraw posted the cover of George’s breakthrough 1987 solo album, Faith, adding “Great music that will always be with us… RIP.”

Darius Rucker zeroed in on what was the album’s sixth and final single. “Song of the day…. “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael,” he shared. “RIP George. Amazing singer and songwriter!!!!”

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